Monthly Archives: February 2015

Using rugs as wall hangings

In the 14th and 15th centuries, the use of fine wool tapestries – or rugs – as wall hangings was considered the height of sophistication. Used to decorate palaces and castles all over Europe, the trend originated in Arras, a textile town in northern France. Although only a few of the original pieces survived the French Revolution, the word ‘Arras’ is still used to describe a rich wall hanging, no matter where it is woven.

At Topfloor we believe in using rugs to enhance the beauty of a sophisticated interior. In this blog we thought it would be useful to share our thoughts on why you should consider repurposing your favourite rug for use as a beautiful tapestry…

Top floor rugs SCRIPT collection PATIENCE ON WALL‘Patience’ from the SCRIPT collection

There are no distractions.
No matter how minimal your interior, when placed on the floor, you can often find your rug covered by a piece of furniture. To best showcase our pieces uninterrupted, we always display our rugs in the showroom, at trade shows, and at special events, by hanging them. This way they can be seen better without furniture blocking parts of the design; we don’t have to worry about the rugs getting grubby and they take up much less space. This also enables the viewer to envisage them vertically. This method of displaying your rug translates well to a home environment, adding an element of luxury to any interior and allowing you to show off your favourite rug without distraction.

They will add an extra dimension to your room.
Rugs act as a backdrop to an interior and give depth, texture and colour, whilst adding an extra dimension to your space. When hung, they can even serve as artworks, giving you something unique to decorate your home with and a less expensive option than commissioning a rug for your whole floor space.

Top floor rugs SCRIPT collection OH FRIEND ON THE WALL‘Oh! Friend’ from the SCRIPT collection

They add warmth.
Rugs as wall hangings add warmth to an environment, as they can be made out of materials such as wool, mohair, pashmina etc. A use of rich colours will add instant personality to the room they adorn, no matter how minimal the surroundings. Rugs as wall hangings can also be used to easily add glamour if made using shiny fibres like silk or bamboo – or even man-made fibres, such as viscose. Equally, like textiles used on the walls in Japan, they can add a tranquil and calm feeling to the room. With so many colours and textures available, they truly are an excellent way to quickly change the atmosphere of an interior, with minimal effort.

Rugs are good for acoustics.
Rugs provide a good acoustic environment, especially in contract use. Think of the restaurants, hotel lobbies, living rooms you’ve had to shout in to be heard even by the person sitting right next to you. Rugs can help!

Top floor rugs SCRIPT collection 4 WATER‘Water’ from the SCRIPT collection

Hanging a rug will extend its lifespan.
Keeping very expensive and fragile rugs away from the floor will prolong their lifespan significantly. Hanging them ensures they stay clean, and frees them of the friction that regular treading causes, keeping them away from unwanted damage. You can see patchy aging in many antique rugs used on the floor because of the traffic they get, the wear and tear showing more in the walked on parts of the piece. You can save your antique rugs, family heirlooms or simply new but expensive rugs from this wear and tear in one simple way – by hanging them.

We hope that these tips have convinced you that rugs make the most beautiful wall-hangings! We are always happy to offer advice and inspiration on finding the right rug to hang in your home. Do visit our showroom at Design Centre Chelsea Harbour, or call us on 020 7795 3333 to see our collections and find out more.

Designer Insights: Meet Rebecca James, interior designer

At Topfloor, we are lucky enough to work with many talented designers. One such designer is the award-winning Rebecca James. Having started out as a ballet dancer and model before opening her own design studio – Interior Desires – Rebecca has a colourful background that lends something special to her projects. She believes that residential interiors should be as unique as one’s DNA, with each detail reflecting an individual’s inner character. To this end, Rebecca often designs bespoke furniture pieces for many of her projects.

Below, we talk to Rebecca about her work with Topfloor, and how her travels have fuelled her passion for great design…

Rebecca James Interior Designers Topfloor
Rebecca James

What made you want to work in interiors?
Ever since I was a little girl, I have wanted to be a designer. I went to boarding school, and would constantly rearrange the dorm rooms. On weekends, I would ask my dad to take me to visit beautiful houses.

I suppose I feel this is my contribution to the world, to create spaces for people to enjoy.

Montagu Square Interior Desires Topfloor blogMontagu Square by Interior Desires, featuring Topfloor’s Envelope

Topfloor Rebecca james interviewMoor Place by Interior Desires

You run a very successful and established design house, can you talk us through your career to this point?
I started off as a ballet dancer, until an injury put a premature end to my career. I then became a fashion model, which I pursued for 15 years. As a model I was able to travel the world, exposing me to diverse cultures, and differing ways of life. During this period, I spent a lot of time travelling and living in Asia. Asia has become a big influence in my work as I believe in balance and harmony, and love the colours the area is known for.

Around ten years ago I decided to enrol in The Chelsea College of Art, and upon graduation set up my design firm, Interior Desires.

Fortunty - Topfloor blog. Interview with interior Desires Rebecca JamesAn example of Asian Interiors, by Fortuny Interiors

What inspires you?
My biggest inspirations are fashion, art and the natural environment. I also draw inspiration from people I see in cafes, on the London Underground, everywhere.

Having worked internationally, how do you find design differs from continent to continent?
I believe no matter where a project is based, it should always have a sense of place. With that being said, culture plays a big part when working internationally. I worked on a retail project in a former Soviet country recently, and as part of my research I had to understand the local customs and traditions, in order to determine how customers would react in certain situations. It is important to immerse yourself in the culture, and the process, to get the right result from place to place.

Topfloor blof interview with Interior DesiresDetail from a Private Members’ Club by Interior Desires

You have worked collaboratively with Topfloor on several of your interiors – how important do you think details in the room, such as the design of the rug, are to the overall scheme?
Attention to detail is perhaps the most important and most underrated aspect of design. A rug, for instance, should both highlight and improve your design. In some cases, it should even become the focal point for a space, with other aspects designed to complement it.

Which is your favourite Topfloor design?
I have worked with Topfloor for years, and have been fortunate enough to use many of the beautiful rugs designed by Esti. The design that first drew me to Topfloor is the Esquire from the 3D range – it’s a personal favourite. Currently I’m working on a project using a hand-woven Alpaca rug from the Flux range, which is beautiful.

Top Floor Rugs shoot NW3, july 2012Esquire Evolution, from the 3D collection

Topfloor flux Rebecca James interview
Blend – Flux Collection

What’s your favourite part of the design process?
My favourite part of the design process is bringing visions to life, which is perhaps also the most challenging aspect. Trying to convey your vision to suppliers and collaborators can sometimes be very tricky and frustrating, especially when you are not on the same wavelength.

To see more of Rebecca James’ work, visit Interior Desires